Social media and civic engagement

The majority of residents in Oregon and Washington’s major cities use social media.

For anyone who has been in a coffee shop in Portland or Seattle recently and witnessed the number of people scrolling through Instagram on their iPhone, that’s probably not a shocking fact.

But digging deeper, a new report by Quinn Thomas, with data used by DHM research, shows that those who use social media believe it plays a big role in civic engagement.

Their polling showed:

  • 50 percent said social media was as or more valuable to enacting change as voting
  • 65 percent said it’s as or more effective than traditional journalism
  • 57 percent said it has as much or more impact than donating to a non-profit

Political affiliation plays a major role in how people view and use social media, according to the survey.

Democrats are more likely to post political content than Republicans and independents. Democrats are also more likely to feel social media can cause people to re-think their position.

But despite the increase of social media users, the majority still use it primarily as a social resource, a way to connect with family and friends and do not rely on it as primary news source.


Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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